HealthZette

Dachshunds Attacked an Oklahoma Woman and Mauled Her to Death — Why?

This breed of dog is not known for fatal activity like this — so was rabies to blame or not? What happened?

Tracy Garcia was near her home in Ardmore, Oklahoma, on May 7 when she was attacked by a pack of flea-infested dachshund mixes owned by her neighbor.

The pack of seven diminutive dogs rushed at the 52-year-old Garcia — and, sadly, ended the woman’s life.

One of the deputies at the scene shot and killed a dog after it charged the emergency response team. Six remaining dogs in the feral pack were put down at the Ardmore Animal Shelter at the owner’s request.

The dogs, predominately dachshunds with terrier mix, appeared to have been roaming free in the woods, according to shelter workers.

“There were seven dogs — three were females, four of them were males,” Amanda Dinwiddie, a pet euthanasia specialist, told KXII. “They all ranged from probably a year to about three years [old].”

“A predominant breed in these dogs is definitely standard dachshund,” she continued. “They have really noticeable characteristics like their knobby legs, knees — very short-legged dogs and their coats.”

All of the dogs weighed less than 40 pounds and were shorter than knee-high, according to KXII’s report. The canines were not tested for rabies — the victim died and the dogs were euthanized.

That decision saved the thousands of dollars in expenses to test for the dangerous disease. But it also snuffed out more potential understanding of exactly why this tragedy happened.

“This is a bad situation, a very unfortunate situation,” Carter County Sheriff Chris Bryant told KTEN. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of the victims. This is just a bad deal all the way around.”

When KFOR asked why these dogs were roaming free, Sheriff Bryant replied, “We’re trying to figure out exactly … In the county there is no leash law.”

There is also no limit in the county on the number of dogs an owner can have. The district attorney is examining whether or not charges will be filed.

Tracy Garcia’s death provides a powerful lesson for all that it’s not just pit bulls, Rottweilers, and German shepherds that are capable of deadly attacks (although people take exception to those stereotypes as well).

Statistics on fatal dog attacks compiled by DogsBite.org indicate that 74 percent of those attacks were carried out by pit bulls, 10 percent by Rottweilers, 10 percent by German shepherds, 8 percent by mixed breeds, 5 percent by Labradors, 5 percent by mastiffs — and the remainder were by various breeds or unknown.

Related: D.E.L.T.A.: A Dog Rescue Outfit Like No Other

Fatal dog attacks are relatively rare, but are still frequent enough to be of serious concern.

Dogsbite.org cites 39 Americans killed by canines in 2017, while a total of 433 Americans were killed from 2005 to 2017.

Kyle Becker is a content writer and producer with LifeZette. Follow him on Twitter

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Kyle Becker is a content writer and producer with LifeZette.